The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Malta ranks 20th in the 2018 Financial Secrecy Index

Tuesday, 30 January 2018, 19:00 Last update: about 4 years ago

Malta has ranked in the top 20 of the Financial Secrecy Index, out of 112 jurisdictions.

The Financial Secrecy Index ranks jurisdictions according to their secrecy and the scale of their offshore financial activities. The Tax Justice Network, who run the index, describes it as: "A politically neutral ranking, it is a tool for understanding global financial secrecy, tax havens or secrecy jurisdictions, and illicit financial flows or capital flight."


The 2018 Financial Secrecy Index (FSI) focuses on 112 jurisdictions, including several that are not traditionally considered to be tax havens, such as China, France, Germany and Japan.

The Tax Justice Network notes that "Switzerland, the United States and the Cayman Islands are the world's biggest contributors to financial secrecy."

They state that Switzerland, "the global capital of bank secrecy, retains the worst ranking, and the US has moved up to second. With Bahrain and Lebanon dropping out of the top ten, Guernsey and a new entry in Taiwan has replaced them."

The FSI measures two things, one qualitative and one quantitative. The qualitative measure looks at a jurisdiction's laws and regulations, international treaties, and so on, to assess how secretive it is. It gets assigned a secrecy score: the higher the score, the more secretive the jurisdiction. The second, quantitative, measurement attaches a weighting to take account of the jurisdiction's size and overall importance the global market for offshore financial services.

In Malta's case, its secrecy score is 61, and a global scale weight of 0.71%.

The secrecy score of 61 per cent has been computed as the average score of 20 Key Financial Secrecy indicators including recorded company ownership, public company accounts, public statistics, corporate tax disclosure and tax court secrecy. "Our 20 secrecy indicators can be grouped around four broad dimensions of secrecy, which overlap to some extent. These are A) ownership registration; B) legal entity transparency; C) integrity of tax and financial regulation; and D) international standards and cooperation."

"The global scale weight (GSW) attributed to each jurisdiction assesses the size of each jurisdiction’s share of the global market for financial services provided to non-residents."




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